TRAI not impressed with Airtel and Vodafone Idea’s replies on premium plans; telcos may try again

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Updated: Aug 12, 2020 7:53 AM

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is not satisfied with the replies of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel regarding the premium plans as many of the technical details sought by it remain unanswered.

Also, the operators said that the speed depends on quality of handsets but they have not shared a list of handsets that are inferior and impact speed.Also, the operators said that the speed depends on quality of handsets but they have not shared a list of handsets that are inferior and impact speed.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is not satisfied with the replies of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel regarding the premium plans as many of the technical details sought by it remain unanswered.

According to sources, both the operators gave presentations to Trai officials on Monday but they were not able to answer key technical questions asked by the regulator. The operators have now sought more time to provide the details.

“The operators were clueless about the technical details sought by us. They have sought more time to get the details from vendors…by the end of this week, they will submit,” sources in Trai told FE. The sources further said Trai is not against the premium plans but operators have to clarify and provide all the details about the plans, so that Trai can take a call if the plans are within rules.

“The operators are saying there is no guarantee to provide promised benefits under the premium plans, they do not have any explanation and rationale and giving only average out data, while we have sought specific data,” said a source. Also, the operators said that the speed depends on quality of handsets but they have not shared a list of handsets that are inferior and impact speed.

“Operators even claimed that a customer with good quality handset can get better speeds without premium plans than a customer on premium plan but bad handset,” said another source. The source further said there are two basic questions of Trai –if telcos are able to able to deliver what is claimed and secondly, if the quality of service of non-premium customers is affected. “To get answers of these two basic questions, we have asked about 20-24 technical questions from them,” the source added.

It must be mentioned that Vodafone Idea had dragged Trai to Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) regarding its RedX plan. The telco got an interim stay from the tribunal, which allowed it to get new customers for the premium plan but TDSAT also directed that Trai will continue with its probe.

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